One pound of fat is equal to about 3500 calories. (A guide to keeping track of those pesky excess calories!)
And you know what? Those extra calories can creep up on you out of nowhere! Now I know I’m a person who doesn’t like to concern herself with caloric intake much, but in gaining a few lbs from my new bc I’ve become a bit more smart about it all. Let’s take this quote for example:
"What you don’t know can’t hurt you."
In some cases, yes. Not knowing could be a good thing depending on the context. However, when you take it as "lack of knowledge" rather than just being “unaware”, then it starts to hit home a bit more.
Think about it. How many times have you been in a situation where you say, "Oh, there’s only a little bit left… Might as well finish it off, right?" Wrong! All those little extra calories creep up on you and before you know it you could start gaining weight! Eek! Going over your caloric intake for the day on occasion is fine, but remember… Just as sleep debt accumulates to make you increasingly fatigued, excess calories add up and once you hit 3500 excess calories… You gain a pound.
I would suggest that everyone print out a proper portion chart and memorize it, or at least get the jist of it. (You can find one here.) You could also imagine there’s a plate inside of your plate and keep the food inside the smaller one… Or even separate your foods like the picture below! You don’t need to be overweight to learn about this stuff, either. It’s good to have background knowledge on this even if you are fit and healthy in order to be sure you stay that way.
Another tip would be to just slow down. Everyone has heard about the French women who seem to never gain weight, right? Well, it’s because their culture is so much different than the culture in America. Here in the US we’re always running, always busy, fast everything, no time for anything. People here don’t sit down and enjoy food anymore, which is probably yet another reason fast food is so popular. Anyways, just taking the extra few minutes to savor that delicious flavor… Have a nice chat with your friend… Take drinks in between bites… Another good idea is to eat oranges as a snack. Eating them requires that you to carefully peel it, so it takes longer and you’re more likely to eat it at a more relaxed pace. But whatever you have to do, just slow down. In fact, it can also help you manage some stress, as well!
Perhaps speed doesn’t seem to be an issue for you and your problem lies in food volume. If you’re used to eating a lot of food, it can be hard to lower your caloric intake, especially if you eat the same food that made you overweight in the first place! The key to this is to choose bigger volumes of nutrient-dense foods and decrease volumes of calorie-dense foods. An example of this would be to choose a big salad over a big pasta dinner. Next time you go to an Italian restaurant ask for a large salad and a half order of the pasta you want. This way you can still maintain the volume, but with fewer calories, and without making you go nuts for restricting from your favorites! If you love chocolate and always crave it after a meal… Eat it. But let it be a small square and dark chocolate. Through my own experience and the experience of others I’ve found that eating a little piece of dark chocolate after a meal satisfies my craving enough to where I don’t crave it later. So try it chocolate lovers!
Well, I think that should be sufficient. But before I finish off I’d like to remind you all that exercise and proper sleep habits are imperative to your health, and that includes the weight loss process. Be sure you’re working out at least every other day for 30 minutes (even if you have to do it in small chunks, that counts!) and sleeping approximately 8 hours a night, give or take.
And don’t forget… If you lost one lb you just burned off 3500 calories.